Government of Canada Supports Projects to Prevent and Address Family Violence 

News release

Projects will support those who have experienced, are experiencing, or are at-risk of experiencing violence.

October 18, 2022    |    Ottawa, Ontario    |    Public Health Agency of Canada

Family violence and gender-based violence are serious public health issues that are strongly linked to mental health concerns and can have long-lasting consequences for survivors and for those around them. These issues touch families in all parts of Canada, and include many different forms of physical, verbal and emotional abuse and neglect. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting all survivors of family and gender-based violence and safeguarding the health and safety of those at risk.

Today, Jenna Sudds, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, along with Yasir Naqvi, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced close to $2 million in funding over four years to support projects by two Ottawa-based organizations, Carleton University and MediaSmarts. Their projects will support the mental and physical well-being of persons experiencing, or who may be at risk of experiencing, family and gender-based violence.

MediaSmarts will receive $1,005,000 to adapt, deliver, and evaluate their current digital literacy program to reach survivors of family violence across Canada who are living in shelters or transitional housing. The program will feature a series of workshops that provide important online safety, security, and wellbeing information to educate and empower survivors and their families to respond to and prevent technology-facilitated violence. The program aims to build survivors' resilience and wellbeing by developing the confidence and skills to engage as active, informed, and empowered digital citizens.

Carleton University will receive $946,859 to adapt, implement, and test the inclusion of a trauma and violence-informed physical activity (TVIPA) approach into physical activity programs for women and children experiencing violence. This project seeks to create safe environments for approximately 225 women accessing partner sites in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, based on understanding the effects of trauma and its links to health and behaviour. The purpose of developing TVIPA practices is to create non-violent environments in which individuals can be empowered to make choices, collaborate, and learn.

Today's funding comes at a critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to negatively impact children, women and families at risk of violence due to disrupted services and additional emotional stressors affecting caregivers such as parental stress, depression and substance use.

This investment is an important step in the right direction, and will help build evidence on what health promotion interventions and supports work in Canadian communities. The federal government will continue working to prevent family and gender-based violence, support survivors, and break the cycle of violence in families and communities from coast to coast to coast. 


“Everyone deserves to live safe and free from family violence, but for many women, that isn't their reality. The funding announced today in Ottawa will be instrumental in helping those who have experienced or are at risk of family and gender-based violence find the support they need to build their self-esteem and achieve safety and stability in their lives. This investment is an important step forward, but we know we have more to do. Our government will continue to take action against family and gender-based violence and to build a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“Family and gender-based violence have immediate and long-term impacts on the physical and mental health of survivors, and lasting consequences for families, individuals, communities and society as a whole. This funding will help survivors get access to tailored physical activity programs as well as digital guidance workshops. These initiatives are important in connecting survivors of family and gender-based violence with the appropriate tools and empowering them to make informed decisions.”

Jenna Sudds
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

“Family and gender-based violence has both immediate and long-term consequences for individuals, families, and communities alike. Every day, there are children who dread coming home from school, or individuals who struggle to leave an abusive partner. Alongside many of our local organizations addressing impacts of gender based violence, Carleton University and MediaSmarts are leading the way in developing a programs that seek to create safe and supportive environments for survivors, empowering them to make choices, and break the cycle of violence. Today's announcement helps take action against this abuse at a critical time, as our communities continue to deal with the lasting consequences of the pandemic and its impact on children and families at risk.”

Yasir Naqvi
Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre 

"Essential digital literacy and critical thinking skills are necessary for all of us to be able to protect our security, privacy, reputation and personal safety online, and it is especially important for survivors of abuse. This funding will allow us to deliver critically important digital literacy education to survivors of family violence and the service providers who support them. The MODELSS project will ensure survivors develop the confidence and skills to engage as active and informed digital citizens. We are incredibly grateful to the Public Health Agency of Canada for their support in making this work possible."

Kathryn Ann Hill,
Executive Director of MediaSmarts

“Carleton is a smart, caring community that stands against all forms of gender-based violence and strives for wellness on campus and in society. We are proud to partner with the Public Health Agency of Canada in this important and impactful project. Dr. Darroch's work in this area epitomizes our commitment to leverage the power of research to be a force for good and make the world a better place.”

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

Quick facts

  • One third of Canadian adults report having experienced maltreatment as a child. 

  • Family violence affects future relationships and future generations: children who have been abused, neglected or exposed to intimate partner violence are at risk of experiencing or perpetrating violence in adulthood. 

  • The Survey of COVID and Mental Health indicates risk factors for child maltreatment and family violence have increased. Risk factors include depression, parental stress and alcohol consumption. Additionally, five percent of Canadians reported concerns about violence in their homes during the third wave of the pandemic, between February and May 2021. 

Associated links


Maja Staka
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

Public Enquiries
1-866 225-0709

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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